Long before Frank Ocean used his coolly expressive vocals to sing highly wistful lyrics over groovy slow and mid-tempos, there was Musiq Soulchild, filling Maxwell and D’Angelo’s void and perfecting a lane for the calm, confident and sensitive brothers of modern R&B.
“Mary Go Round” is a hidden gem buried on his solid debut, Aijuswanaseing (2000). On the somber record, a 23-year-old Musiq casually tells the tale of his discontented sweetheart leaving him distraught and confused.
“Why must my arms feel so empty for what my heart still holds?” he ponders. “How can love escape your grasp without you ever letting go.”